12 Creative Ways to Reuse Aluminum Foil
Aluminum foil is potentially one of the most useful and versatile mass produced substances. The early model of this product was originally called “tin foil” because it was made using tin. Tin transferred unwanted odor to food products, so a new version was developed using aluminum. These days, most stores carry several brands of aluminum foil products of varying sizes and thicknesses; all are durable and can withstand extreme cold and heat. Due to its level of durability, aluminum foil can be used many times before it needs to be discarded. Unfortunately, the average American consumer is unaware that aluminum foil is reusable and also of how to recycle it when its lifespan is up.
In the United States, over ¾ of aluminum foil products are used by the food industry for packaging things like candy and snacks; most of this packaging ends up in the landfills. Americans throw away approximately 3 pounds of aluminum foil per year. Researchers believe that it takes roughly 400 years for this product to decompose naturally. Even worse, some landfills put aluminum through an incinerator, which releases toxic gases and metals into the air. Even recycling centers will not always accept aluminum foil, regardless of whether they accept aluminum cans. While aluminum foil is no less recyclable than cans, it is often less clean. Aluminum foil that is heavily contaminated with food waste can be problematic for recycling centers, so many of them simply will not accept it.
When you are ready to say goodbye to sheets of aluminum foil, contact your municipal recycling program to find out where you can locally recycle used aluminum foil. You can also check out the Earth911.org website and enter your zip code to find local recycling centers. Of course, the best way to recycle aluminum foil is to reuse it yourself as many times as possible.
Not only is aluminum foil completely, 100% recyclable, it can be repurposed indefinitely. After tearing off a sheet to fold over your lasagna or pie cruse to keep it from burning in the oven, scrub the sheet of foil with some soap and hot water, air dry it, and use it again in any number of ways.
12 of the best ways to reuse aluminum foil
1. Deter garden pests
Collars of aluminum foil around the base of young plants or foil hung in strips around your garden help keep away insects, birds, and other animals. The sound and shine of the sheets act as a deterrent. Another, similar use, is stuffing aluminum foil into cracks in structures where rodents and insects tend to enter. The sharp edges of the foil keep infiltrators away.
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